Each autumn I look forward to making jam and preserves. Of course I stick to the standards choices of Strawberry, Blueberry and Peach jams, varieties of pickles, etc. but each year I like to add something new to the mix. Usually I’m inspired by a new ingredient (fruit or vegetable, maybe an herb) that I come across at my local farmers market.
I own each of these books and love their recipes. They feature classic recipes but also give me new ideas to try each year. Some of them even feature four-season preserving if you’re more than a once-a-year kind of canner. Whatever your canning inspiration, one of these books is sure to have a recipe for you!
TIP: I like to write on the recipe’s page the year I tried it, if we liked it, how much produce I used, size of jars, yield, etc.
Preserving: The Canning and Freezing Guide for All Seasons by Pat Crocker, $29.99
This book is gigantic and has so many great features such as its comprehensive gear guide and canning basics as well as a glossary for newbies. It also guides you on choosing vegetables, seasonality of produce, spice blends and proportions. There are also plenty of sauce recipes, which is handy if you like to keep a pantry of sauces for quick meal ideas. It’s also a great book for those of us who say to themselves, “I have all of these pomegranates (or other produce) that are going to expire soon – what can I do with them?”
The Complete Preserving Book by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen, $34.95
Any recipe that comes out of this Test Kitchen is tried and true and always works! This book features recipes that span from jams/marmalades/jellies, sauces and syrups to salsas, vinegars, liqueurs and seasonings. One of my favorite features is the “Measuring Fruits and Vegetables” guide that provides you with harvest times (months) as well as how much of each fruit or vegetable you will need to yield roughly 1 cup of each item. This is really helpful to have when shopping for your ingredients! (hint: I like to keep a picture of these pages on my iPhone for reference). Also worth noting is that this book features “light” jam recipes, which are great for cutting extra sugar.
food in jars by Marisa McClellan, $23.00
I love that this book begins with a step-by-step guide (photos included) for the novice canner. It contains recipes for jams/jellies/marmalades, fruit and nut butters, syrups, pickles, condiments of all kinds as well as other canning options like whole fruit.
PICKLED by Kelly Carrolata, $18.99
This book’s subtitle reads “From Curing Lemons to Fermenting Cabbage, the gourmand’s ultimate guide to the world of pickling. It starts with a guide to pickling and features 100 unique recipes. It also has a measurement conversion chart for Standard U.S. to Metric. My favorite part? The section on “Drinks with Pickles” – I love that you can make your own ingredients for custom cocktails!